After shutting out distractions and really focusing on studying for the test, I ended up buying alot of NCLEX review materials, so I had the following:
NCSBN online review course (5 wks)
Content isn't great, very hard to learn from but the questions were NCLEX type questions. I would purchase this if you're only needing questions to study from and not for content review.
Kaplan - The RN Course Book: Preparation for the NCLEX-RN Examination 15th edition
No online review course, just the book from amazon.com. Must have for content if you don't have time to study, minimum time needed to read over this book is about 1 wk.
Only thing about this book is that it may not have all the info you need and there are no NCLEX practice questions in this book. Probably contains about 50-60% info you would need to study for the NCLEX. You would have to purchase the online Kaplan review course for the questions or just use questions from another source.
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Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 5th edition.
Good review book, I just feel like it's too showy and has more info than you actually need to study for. Questions to me are okay but appears to be easy.
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment (PDA) by LaCharity 2nd edition
Very important, must review for questions. I feel like this book helped me the most to prepare for the NCLEX style questions, especially for those priority, delegation, assignment type questions in which I saw alot when I sat for my 3 NCLEX attempts.
Kaplan NCLEX-RN: Strategies, Practice, and Review 2011-2012 book
I read through this book cover to cover but I don't think it helped me at all. Good book for questions only.
Exam Cram NCLEX-RN 3rd edition
You can actually skim through this book in about 2-3 hrs. It basically tells you the info you need to know for the NCLEX. Only thing, is it's a small book and the info is probably only 30% from what you would see from a Saunders's or Maryann. Good book for questions, as they are NCLEX style questions.
Maryann Hogan Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN:Reviews and Rationales 2nd edition
Must have for content and similar NCLEX type questions if you have time to study, minimum time needed to review this whole book is about 1 month, to me this is the best review book for the NCLEX-RN. The content is cut and dry, which was good for me.
Good for questions or alternative type questions, I didn't use it as much or maybe hardly at all.
Kaplan Questions Trainers 1-7 from this website
Questions are way harder than NCLEX, I would probably use this if I need questions to study.
Very important, must review right before you sit for NCLEX. Thank you for whoever posted this:
Yes, I used/reviewed them all. Some people say do as much questions as you can and others have said to study mostly content. It's really up to you on how you study. You must have the knowledge/content to answer NCLEX style questions. In addition, answering NCLEX style questions such as the ones in PDA book helps you to understand why you would choose this answer over the other. That's also important because it helps you to figure out what the questions are actually asking. You probably hear people say to review rationales all the time, well yes review them! It will tell you why you would choose this answer over the other, etc. Doing questions and reviewing the rationales to me is like reviewing content as well. For me, I mostly study content and used the questions from the book (end of chapter quizzes or the comprehensive test at the end of the book, no other review materials used for practicing NCLEX style questions). I think I ended up only studying a total of 500 questions or less from all of my 3 attempts at NCLEX-RN. You're probably thinking, why didn't I practice more questions, well I just ran out of time so I decided to review content more. And also, I did not get to finish reviewing any review books. Saunders was just too showy and hard to follow for me so I probably only read through 2-3 chapters and was like alright no more Saunders. Kaplan, the book has good straightforward info in ADPIE (assessment, diag, planning, etc) format. I probably ended up only using it for 5 chapters and switched bc I found out that Maryann book was better suited for me. The Maryann book I think I only studied through 50% of the book bc my NCLEX date was near so I didn't get to finish. I did finish the PDA and Kaplan strategies book as they were quick reads.
It seems that if you're doing well during your exam, you would see more SATA questions. There will be lots of priority, delegation, assignment type questions so PDA is the best book for it.
I would say that if you're pressed for time and only have about 1-2 week to study I would stick with the:
Kaplan RN Course Book 15th edition, the lab value sheet I attached, the review sheet I attached, and PDA book.
The Kaplan book is like a shortened version of Saunders's and/or Maryann Hogan. It seems to have about 60% of the materials you would see from either Saunders's or Maryann Hogan. Very good if you're very pressed for time.
I would say that if you have about 1 month or more to study, I would use:
Maryann Hogan 2nd edition book, the lab value sheet I attached, the review sheet I attached, and PDA book.
The Hogan book is by far better than the Saunders and/or Kaplan RN course book. It even has NCLEX highlights, which highlights info in the chapter that is most commonly asked on the NCLEX-RN. Even if you don't have time to read through the whole book, review the NCLEX highlights in this book is probably enough. In addition, the questions in this book (end of chapter quizzes and comprehensive test is the most similar type questions you will see on the NCLEX).
Hopefully, this helps those who have lots of NCLEX review materials and can't decide on which one to study on or for those who are deciding on what review material to buy for the NCLEX-RN. Good luck to everyone taking the NCLEX, if I can pass it without practicing lots of questions and reviewing all the content, you can too!
Check Out The Following '5 Tips to Prep For NCLEX RN' Video